Most executives can sense when their organisations are not working well, but few know how to correct the situation.
A comprehensive redesign can be intimidating. For one thing, it’s immensely complicated, involving an endless stream of trade-offs. For another, it’s divisive, frequently disintegrating into personality conflicts and power plays. The reality is that most businesses have organised themselves in ways that inherently discourage change. The effectiveness of an organisational transformation is determined by a company’s structure, processes, reward systems and other features that are orchestrated over time to support one another, as well as the company’s strategic intent, identity and capabilities. But, a number of traditional organisational design features tend to discourage change.
To transform themselves into organisations that are “built to change,” companies need to rethink a number of these basic design assumptions with respect to managing talent, reward systems, structure, information and decision making processes and hierarchical command-and-control leadership style. Decisions are the coin of the realm in business. But even in highly successful companies, decisions can get stuck inside the organisation like loose change. Decision-making bottlenecks can occur whenever there is ambiguity or tension over who gets to decide what.
We help companies unclog their decision-making bottlenecks by clearly defining roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. When reconfiguring the decision-making process, a company must take some practical steps: Align decision roles with the most important sources of value, make sure that decisions are made by the right people at the right levels of the organisation, and let the people who will live with the new process help design it.
Once an organisation loses its spirit of innovation and rests on its early work, its stops progressing.